Lewis Hamilton admits he has begun to entertain thoughts of fighting for a second Formula 1 world championship following his breakthrough Hungarian GP triumph.
Though he started the year insistent that he would not be a 2013 front-runner, Hamilton admitted the nature of his victory — scored in conditions that have typically punished Mercedes’ tire struggles — have left him optimistic more success could follow this year .As a result, the 28-year-old admits it is becoming increasingly hard to resist the idea that he could challenge for this year’s crown.
Asked whether the championship was now a realistic consideration, Hamilton said: “Of course, it’s definitely in the back of my mind. When I signed I didn’t think I would win a race this season. [Now] we’ve had the hottest race of the whole year and we had a performance like we did.
“It definitely gives me confidence for the next nine races [that] we can continue moving forward and have some more good opportunities to win, especially when we go to Spa where it’s cooler [which] might be better for us.”
Hamilton hopes his win will also give the team an extra lift heading into F1’s summer break, and said he will re-double his own efforts over the coming weeks in order to capitalisze on his and Mercedes’ momentum.
“There is no better feeling for a team to go into a break than to win,” Hamilton said. “I was lucky enough to do it with McLaren. It was always a real good boost for them to go into that period of time relaxed, knowing we’d had a win.
“I feel it will do the same for this team, [as it is] the first time they have had that feeling going into a break. It’s a big boost for us. Maybe we have a better chance of moving forward these next few races. It definitely picks you up — for the next few days it will keep me right on a high.
“Normally I don’t really train much over the summer break, but this time I’m going to train intensely and hopefully come back stronger for the second half of the season.”